3-24 #Stayathome: OPPO, vivo and Samsung have stopped production at their respective India’s Greater Noida factories; Facebook has launched a global programme to connect government and UN health organizations; etc.


According to Counterpoint Research, Samsung Electronics has edged out Apple to take third place in the global mobile application processor (AP) market in 2019. Samsung, which makes Exynos chipsets, had a 14.1% share of the global mobile AP market in 2019, up 2.2 percentage points from 2018. (Phone Arena, Sam Mobile, Korea Herald)

The White House has announced the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, a partnership that includes IBM, the Energy Department national laboratories, Alphabet’s Google Cloud, Amazon’s Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and others, to provide COVID-19 researchers worldwide with access to the world’s most powerful high performance computing resources that can significantly advance the pace of scientific discovery in the fight to stop the virus. (LLNL, CNET, Live Mint, CN Beta)


TF Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo says that Apple’s new top-end 6.7” iPhone will get a new camera module for the wide-angle lens, known as the 7P. This will have a 1/1.9” sensor – up from 1/3.6” in the iPhone 11 Pro – as well as five-axis sensor-shift image stabilization. (GSM Arena, 9to5Mac, TF Securities)

Google is introducing a new Camera Go app for its Android Go range of entry-level devices. Android Go originally debuted 2 years ago as a more stripped-down version of Android designed to run on low-end devices, and it is now running on 100M active devices. Camera Go is deeply integrated into the phone’s operating system, and is not just photo filtering on top. Google is particularly proud of bringing Portrait Mode to devices that cost as low as USD50. (GizChina, 9to5Google, The Verge, Google)


Huawei makes NM cards. Lexar, a renowned company known for its wide range of storage products has just announced 3 new NM cards—64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. They boast read speeds of 90MB/s and write speed of 70MB/s. (GizChina, JD.com)


AirPower is announced in 2017, but ultimately cancelled in 2019. Now, Apple has allegedly revived its plans for the wireless charging mat, and it has even reached a prototyping stage. (CN Beta, Apple Insider)


Alphabet’s internet-delivery balloon service, Loon, has finally received approval from the Kenyan government. To help improve communication during the coronavirus pandemic, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta fast-tracked the regulatory approval Loon and its partner, Telkom Kenya, is waiting on. Loon expects to begin providing service to remote areas of Kenya in the “near future”. (Engadget, Medium, Financial Times)


According to Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments has tumbled a huge 38% annually from 99.2M units in the month of Feb 2019, to 61.8M in Feb 2020. Smartphone demand collapsed in Asia in Feb 2020, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and this dragged down shipments across the world. (Strategy Analytics, Business Wire, GSM Arena)

Samsung and LG have suspended their factories in India following requests from local government to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Samsung will shut down its smartphone factory at Noida, based in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, from 23 Mar till 25 Mar. The factory produces 120M units per year. LG will also shut down its home appliance factory at Noida, and another at Pune, until the end of Mar 2020. (GSM Arena, ZDNet, Sam Mobile)

OPPO, vivo and Samsung have stopped production at their respective India’s Greater Noida factories, and will meet the Uttar Pradesh government officials tonight to discuss future course of action as the government announces a lockdown due to the outbreak of COVID-19. (Laoyaoba, Hindustan Times, India Today, Economic Times)

Facebook has launched a global programme to connect government and UN health organizations with developers to “help them use Messenger most effectively to share timely and accurate information, and speed up their responses to concerned citizens”. Facebook also unveiled a partnership with hackathon platform Devpost to encourage developers to build messaging features which address issues including social distancing and providing trusted information. (CN Beta, VentureBeat, Facebook, TechCruch, Mobile World Live)

China is losing luster as the world’s smartphone factory. This is highlighted by recent dynamics within the supply chain and production ecosystem, which has been steadily shifting abroad as rising costs, trade tensions with the US, and a re-prioritization of other consumer markets make China less attractive as a production base. This has pressured vendors to consider other options, and India and Vietnam have come to the fore. India in particular has gained, with its ‘Make in India’ policy enticing many vendors to expand there. (Counterpoint Research)

Google Stadia, in partnership with Unity Technologies, has announced a new self-publishing program for indie devs called Stadia Makers. Google has clarified that it is specifically looking for indies who are building their game on Unity 2019.3 or later and expect to ship in 2020 and 2021. (CN Beta, The Verge, Neowin, Stadia)

Shipments from ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) / IDH (Independent Design Houses) companies grew by 4% annually in 2019 against the declining trend in the overall smartphone market (-2% YoY), according to Counterpoint Research. ODM growth was mainly driven by rising orders from Samsung, OPPO / realme, Xiaomi and LG. However, Huawei has cut orders to ODMs, shifting its strategy towards an ‘in-house design, out-sourced manufacturing’ business model”. (Counterpoint Research)

ZTE Axon 11 5G is announced – 6.47” 1080×2340 FHD+ AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, rear quad 64MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 20MP, 6+128 / 8+128 / 8+256GB, Android 10.0, under display fingerprint ,4000mAh 18W, CNY2,698 (USD380) / CNY2,998 (USD420) / CNY3,398 (USD480). (CN Beta, Android Central, GSM Arena, ZTE)

Redmi Note 9S is announced in Malaysia – 6.67” 1080×2400 FHD+ IPS HDR10, Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, rear quad 48MP-8MP ultrawide-5MP macro-2MP depth + front 16MP, 4+64 / 6+128GB, side fingerprint, 5020mAh 18W, MYR799 (EUR165) / MYR899 (EUR190). (GSM Arena, GSM Arena)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

Beijing-based Nreal has agreed to build a base for mixed reality glasses in Wuxi National Hi-tech District (WND). The company will spend over CNY2B (USD281M) building a production center and R&D center covering an area of 20,000m2 in WND. It will include 6 core optical machine production lines and complete machine production lines. It is expected to produce 1M sets of the glasses in 2020. (Laoyaoba, China Daily)


General Motor (GM) and Ventec Life Systems, in cooperation with StopTheSpread.org, the nation’s coordinated private sector response to the COVID-19, are collaborating to enable Ventec to increase production of its respiratory care products to support the growing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. (Neowin, General Motor)

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced that it will start manufacturing face masks in the coming weeks and donate the critical medical equipment to first responders and healthcare workers. The production capacity is being installed at one of its factories in China. It is targeting production of 1M masks per month within weeks. (TechCrunch, Motley Fool, RTI)

Tesla has revealed that it would probably take 8–10 weeks to get ventilator production started at their factories. Tesla also will provide medical institutes 250K N95 masks. (CN Beta, TechCrunch, Clean Technica)


Some hospitals in Thailand are using so-called ‘ninja robots’ to overcome the COVID-19 epidemic. These robots were originally designed to monitor the rehabilitation of stroke patients. They are now being re-used to monitor fever patients, reducing the burden on front-line doctors to control the spread of the virus. (GizChina, BGR, RFI, IT Home)

Artificial Intelligence

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has introduced a bot to help people make decisions about what to do if they have potential symptoms of COVID-19. Called Clara, the “coronavirus self-checker” was created in partnership with CDC Foundation and Microsoft Azure’s Healthcare Bot service. (CN Beta, Business Insider, The Verge, Microsoft, Time, TechCrunch)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *